Has anyone done it before?

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New Member
Apr 18, 2012
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I'm hoping some of you can ease my anxiety.

I am a highschool graduate with 1 year of college education. I would like to go to Belgium for my full university experience.

I fell in love with Belgium when I was there and I can't wait to return. I have been working hard to save money and practice the language whenever possible. For cultural and financial reasons, I think Belgium is the place for me.

I want to know if anyone out there has gone straight from highschool(in the USA preferrably) to europe for university?! Everyone in the USA seems to think I'm nuts, but my families in Belgium have full faith in me.
I really want this to work out. I've worked so hard to get to where I am, and I would very much like to hear from someone who has done what I am trying to do. Most stories I hear are from people completing their bachelors and going on to masters in another country. Medicine is my ultimate goal!


Full Member
Jul 13, 2011
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My dear :) even I felt your heart. The whole world is yours and you live wherever you feel satisfied, and yes, of course there are many American students who are coming to have their med education in Europe.

BUT! :)

1) A US med school grad, generally speaking, can find job everywhere, while a European med school grad may or may not. So if you graduate from a US school, you can later come and live in Belgium(though I didnt make any research on specifically Belgium, so dont trust this datum that much, there is a need to understand the details of this point), but if you have your education in Belgium, you may or may not turn back, even if you want to. So mostly the American students try first US based schools, and later give a chance to the schools abroad.

2) Euroean system of med teaching is different than US system of teaching. So if someday you want to turn back and work in US med system, you will need to take USMLE exams, but because the EU system is different than US system, you will need extra studies.

3) EU med schools admit after high school, yes, but med education takes your 6 years, not 4. But its (it was, but today it may have changed, I dont know) 7 years in Belgium.

4) The long term trend in finding a residency match is narrowing for the med graduates of non-US schools like the ones in Carib.s or EU. This means the competition will get more fierce in future, albeit not that much for the hard working, successful graduates.

5) Many schools in Europe are not recognized by California Medical Board. This means, if you graduate from one of them, your med education will not be recognized in California, and you will not be able to have an MD licence in CA for lifetime. Some other states as well follow CMB approval list, so you cant work in them as well (like Texas, Vermont, Idaho, Indiana and some others).
The recognized schools list is here (I picked the "B" list which includes Belgium as well):
(Be careful, the programs here are all in native language, the ones in English are emphasized by a note "in English" or something like that).

There are other and positive data about EU option as well:

1) The only school I know which provides 6-year program and "tries" to pass to US system, is Gdansk in Poland. Its one of the bests, but doesnt have CMB approval.

2) There are 4-year programs which provide US system of education, and successfully gives graduates who can have high USMLE scores, clinical experience in US which is very important to find a residency match in future. But while some are quality, like Jagiellonian in Poland, some are sucking the bloods of the students who have low scores, like Lublin in Poland, and some are experimental like Humanitas in Italy.

3) In W-EU the schools are really very cheap, and I think Belgium is among them by that regard. I cant assess the quality of the education but.

I hope this gives some idea :) If you have any question, I come and go here.. just ask.

edit: I would suggest to ask those questions in ValueMD as well, but there are some people who are earning money over those schools by catering prospectives to them, but hanging out there by disguising themselves as "fellow American students", so just be careful and dont directly trust anybody there. But still its good to hear more voices.
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